76

We all buy stuff from time to time that only satisfies us for a short time. I was able to locate a few expenses that fall under that category.

Unfortunately, there are a few products I've wanted to buy for a long time. Since I have a discount code for that shop (which I always move to the trash bin and restore again) I can’t stop thinking of those products. Why I do not want to buy them:

  • Makes me happy only for short time
  • Too expensive for what you get
  • The perception of them will change from “fun” to “work” (aka I often think “damn, I still have to read X books, to watch X movies" and so on)

How can I convince myself to not buy those products? Deleting the discount code will only result in me maybe buying it for the full price. Should I try to seek some middle ground by not buying everything? If yes, how?

I’m sorry for this question sounding weird or maybe me sounding weak, but I don’t want to buy that stuff, and still it bugs me for nearly a month. Any advice would be welcome.

This is rather a question on how to avoid buying it, not about the budget. I would have the required amount to buy that stuff.

  • 12
    Cut off your own financing, live with cash only for a month. – quid Mar 14 '17 at 18:22
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    Another idea, go through your inbox and unsubscribe from all your marketing email. Just top being bombarded by discount codes. – quid Mar 14 '17 at 20:50
  • 14
    Bad title. You do want them. You just want to stop buying them. – paparazzo Mar 14 '17 at 22:04
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    What do you do in your free time besides ponder discount codes? It honestly sounds to me like you're bored. Part of the solution might be to find something more rewarding to invest your time and/or money in. Have you considered charity work or sports or spending time with family or anything that will get you out of the house? – jpmc26 Mar 15 '17 at 7:32
  • 9
    It seems to me you have been considering this purchase for a month. At some point you have to consider the value of being relieved of the agony of considering. – Weckar E. Mar 15 '17 at 9:55

16 Answers 16

47

How to prevent myself from buying things I don't want

We all buy stuff from time to time that only satisfies us for a short time. I was able to locate a few expenses that fall under that category.

  • Makes me happy only for short time
  • Too expensive for what you get
  • The perception of them will change from “fun” to “work” (aka I often think “damn, I still have to read X books, to watch X movies, and so on)

I see a lot answers that focus on not getting these things. I'm going to tell you how to at least attempt to have your cake and eat it too.

If you can get these things without paying for them, or by paying pennies on the dollar for them, you'll no longer want to buy them at full price.

Begin by making a list of the items you can't stop thinking about.

Go to the library for books, movies (DVDs), albums (CDs), and even games

Go to your local library and look for relevant items that are on your list. If they are not yet available, request that the library purchase them, and reserve them for when the items come in.

Yes, libraries are usually tax-supported, but to give back, if you can't afford to contribute to the Library immediately, you can still promote their fund-raising or book/media-drive efforts.

Check out thrift stores and garage or yard sales

If you don't mind buying things that may be second hand, thrift stores and garage or yard sales can have anything. The ones near you may have one or two items on your list of things you were looking for - for pennies on the dollar.

Borrow from or swap with your friends

Other items might be things you can share with friends. Borrow or swap things until you get bored of them. If you don't have a network of friends with shared interests, there may be a local freecycle or relevant meetup group you can join.

The key here is to try to contribute more than you take (and you probably have things you don't need that you can start with trading), and don't keep careful score. The upshot is you'll not only save money but make friends while doing it.

Conclusion

You can sometimes have your cake and eat it too. These recommendations can get you the short-term happiness you were looking for, without spending the money. And when the happiness is gone, you won't feel like you need to hang on to the item indefinitely - you can pass it on for others to enjoy.

  • 22
    +1 for going to the library - it's likely that you're already paying for access to your local library through taxes, whether you're using it or not. – Undo Mar 17 '17 at 2:26
  • 2
    +1 for don't keep careful score. Friends don't do that. – Daniel Vestøl Mar 19 '17 at 13:06
  • The library is nice for books, music, and movies. You have to return the items after a short period of time. Thrift stores, yard sales, and even free ways of acquisition may save you money, but they don't make the items take up any less space. (I am assuming you live in a home of finite size.) – stannius Jul 10 '17 at 19:10
  • @stannius "don't make the items take up any less space" But you don't have to keep them forever... when the novelty wares off, you can recycle them in some way (give them to a charity/thrift store; sell them in your own yard sale etc.). – TripeHound Aug 6 '18 at 9:50
  • @TripeHound in my personal experience, if you struggle to avoid buying (or otherwise acquiring) items, you'll struggle even harder to get rid of them. – stannius Aug 7 '18 at 14:55
33

To me the key is a budget. Each month, before it begins, decide on what to spend on each dollar that you earn. Money should be allotted for normal expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and utilities.

If you have any consumer debt that should be a priority. Extra money should go to eliminate that debt.

There should be money allotted to savings goals (such as retirement, home down payment, or vacation home). Also there should be money set aside for clothing and giving. Giving is an important part and often overlooked part of wealth creation.

Somewhere in there you should also give yourself a bit of free money. For example one of the things I spend my free money on is coffee. I buy freshly ground coffee from a really good supplier. It is a bit expensive, but that is okay as it does not preclude me from meeting other goals.

If you still have money left after all of that increase your giving some, your savings some, and your free money some. You can then spend that money without guilt.

If your budget includes $100 of free money per month, and you want something that costs $1000, save up the $1,000 and then buy it. Do not borrow to buy free money stuff!

Doing those sorts of things will make you weigh purchasing decisions very carefully.

If you find that you cannot stick to a budget, you should enlist a friend to be your accountability partner. They have to be very good with money.

  • 1
    @PeteB "Giving is an important part and often overlooked part of wealth creation." While I don't disagree that giving could be important to someone; can it really help with wealth creation, beyond tax breaks? – Ben.12 Mar 14 '17 at 19:47
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    I firmly believe it does and it has nothing to do with the math of the action (i.e. tax deductions). Giving helps a person not be so self-centered, helps a person have compassion for others, and helps a person be grateful for what they have. There are many books and studies on the subject. – Pete B. Mar 14 '17 at 20:01
  • 3
    I think this is the best answer, I do the same thing. Giving yourself a bit of money to spend on whatever you want every month solves two problems for me: it forces me to prioritize my wants and only buy what I want most, AND it helps me not feel guilty about spending the money, because it's specifically budgeted as being thus expendable. Vacations come out of the same fund. – Aurast Mar 14 '17 at 20:43
  • Having a monthly budget of "free money" to spend, means you would spend it no matter what. Best is to set a target and save money for that target and save what you can, no what's in the budget. If you desire that item, you will make the effort. But if you have allotted a quantity as "free", you'll spend it anyway. – roetnig Mar 16 '17 at 14:51
  • 1
    ~~You can then spend that money without guilt.~~ This is key. The underlying issue for OP is that they feel guilty for 'wasting' money on impulse buying. OP is caught up in the consumerist society that is growing in our country, and others. Paying for needs, saving for the future, giving (time or money). These are all worthy goals. Spending on impulsive purchases where marketing has led us to desire these things prevents us from spending on the worthy goals. And there's the guilt. Self awareness would seem to be the key. "Why do I think I want this? Will it really add value to my life?" – Xalorous Mar 16 '17 at 17:13
57

I found the best way to do this was to make a spending plan at the beginning of the month with someone else. If you're married or in a relationship where you pool resources, then this is a natural way to sync up on your expectations. If you don't have a relationship of that nature, it's still good to have a friend that you talk to about things you are planning on buying.

If I don't allow myself to buy things on a whim, if I have to take the time to justify my purchases to someone else, then I have to first think about the purchase and justify it to myself. Often the actual process of thinking it through is enough for me to talk myself out of it.

Consider the tactics of car salesmen. Each time you attempt to leave the lot, to think about it overnight, they sweeten the offer to try to get you to buy before leaving. They know that if you leave the lot, you are much less likely to decide that you must have that car. You should have a policy of sleeping for one night before making any purchase over an arbitrary dollar amount say $250, or $500, or $1,000. Having that rule, and following it will save you a lot of buyers remorse.

As an aside, I've had my eye on a 35mm prime lens for my camera for over a year now. I was ready to pay ~$500 for a nice lens that was discounted by $100, and I was a little sad that I missed the discount. However, I am very deliberate in my shopping, and I didn't want to buy until I read enough of the reviews to be certain about it. It turns out that the lens has a fatal flaw for landscape photography that most reviewers didn't notice because they were using it for portrait photography. I finally concluded that the lens I really wanted was an $800 lens. I looked at resale prices on my $600 lens and they are in the $350 range. So instead of missing out on a $100 discount, I missed out on a $150 loss trading up to the lens that I really want for the long term.

  • 4
    Its almost like there is a consensus or something. – Pete B. Mar 14 '17 at 18:39
  • 2
    Actually, I'd stack the amount of time per amount of cash. In other words, Anything over X, sleep one night. 2X, sleep two nights. 3X, sleep three nights, and so on. The down side to this (by design, one would imagine) is those incredible offers that are only valid for a short amount of time, thus depriving you of the ability to wait and 'cool off' about it first. – flith Mar 15 '17 at 11:35
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    It's extremely unlikely to get an offer so good that you won't get a better one a week, or a month, or a year later. That's something I also find important to keep in mind during buying decisions. It's the nature of our current economy that new products are continuously being released which lower the price of that specific (not so new anymore) product you had in mind. – Nobody Mar 15 '17 at 13:49
  • 1
    One of the methods I've used is to plan to buy something much more expensive. The idea is that you then need to save for it, so every coffee you buy instead of make yourself, every 'toy' you buy because you 'must' have it just push the day you'll have enough money for the expensive thing further away. Just make sure the expensive thing is expensive enough that you do genuinely have to save for it, but not so expensive that you'd need 100 years to save for it. Also try to make sure the expensive thing is really worth it ;-) – Ralph Bolton Mar 15 '17 at 16:35
  • This is a very good idea. Buying my car was a weeks-long process involving checking several different dealerships and online listings, and I got a much better deal that way. – Mason Wheeler Mar 15 '17 at 18:05
3

I use cash exclusively. I go to the cash machine once a week and withdraw the money I want to spend in one week (so I have to plan if I want to buy something expensive). Otherwise I leave the card at home. As bonus you get anonymity, i.e. big brother cannot track you.

  • 1
    While this does work well to control spending but I find this can also be expensive as it prevents buying most of your goods online where they are oft a lot cheaper. – Vality Mar 14 '17 at 19:34
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    @Vality I bet that with my approach although you may pay some percent extra for some goods (and your privacy, which is priceless), you will save a lot of money as you cannot shop from your sofa (you have to make an effort). – Cashman Mar 20 '17 at 9:52
  • 1
    Plus if you pay cash, you can avoid going to places where you can buy things, if you shop online most people always have their shopping place in their pocket. – Cashman Mar 20 '17 at 10:13
21

One of the most effective tools we have to keep ourselves from doing things is procrastination. Most of the time procrastination is a bad thing because we use it to avoid doing things we should be doing. But it's equally effective at keeping us from doing things that are not good for us, like overspending or overeating.

How do we procrastinate things like this? Put it on a big, fat, TODO list somewhere that you seldom look at. That will get it out of your head...your subconscious will not keep bugging you about it because it's not worried about forgetting it. Save the discount code in the list so you know you will have it if you ever want it. Put other things that you are unlikely to do any time soon on that same list. Then move on with your life and enjoy your freedom from useless and expensive clutter.

I use online TODO lists (also google docs) for keeping track of things I'm supposed to be doing. One of my lists, "long term purchases," contains a bunch of expensive stuff that I have wanted at some point but not gotten around to purchasing. I think the list has saved me a lot of money. Stuff stays on that list a long time. Ultimately most of the items on the list either become cheap or I lose interest in them.

There's a reason salesmen push you to buy NOW NOW NOW. They know if you procrastinate the decision, you are much less likely to buy.

  • This has worked well for me for me. Many items I wait two months to buy it. More often than not, by the time the two months rolls around I don't care any more. – whatsisname Mar 15 '17 at 0:25
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    Amazon is probably one of the easiest places to 'accidentally' buy stuff you don't really need. They also have 'lists' - you can have as many different ones as you like and you can put as many things as you want on them. A very handy money saver :-) – Ralph Bolton Mar 15 '17 at 16:37
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    Another form of 'procrastination' is to only buy things when you really need them. That is, I'd really like to buy an expensive power tool. However, right now I don't have the time to really use it, so I'm delaying buying the tool until I can see some spare time coming up. Had I bought it when I thought about the things I want to make with it, it would be sat on the shelf waiting for me, losing its value to me, rather than sat in the store losing it's value to the store's owner (which will eventually translate to a lower cost to me). – Ralph Bolton Mar 15 '17 at 16:45
  • I use an Amazon Wish List for the same purpose. amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist – Taylor Edmiston Apr 4 '17 at 0:48
7

Since these are specific items that you don't really want to buy, it might help to figure out what you could spend that money on that you DO really want. It sounds like right now you are thinking "Wow, I can get this widget (that I don't really want) for so cheap with this discount code!" Try changing your thinking to something along the lines of "This widget is pretty cool, but I could buy this doodad that I really want instead" or "This widget is nice, but if I don't buy it, I could have a latte every other day this month." I've found this to be a very effective technique-- and I often don't end up buying the doodads or lattes either. It's just a good way to put the cost of your purchase in perspective.

The other thing I do when I want something is to write it down and revisit it a week or so later. If I still want it and I still have the budget for it (and especially if I've skipped other purchases to save up for it), then I buy it. That advice doesn't sound like it will work for you though, since it sounds like you've wanted to buy these things for a long time. So... are you REALLY sure you don't want them, or do you just not want to want them?

  • 3
    "So... are you REALLY sure you don't want them, or do you just not want to want them?" this is a very good input. Like the comment of @JAB it is rather a "(lenght of joy+amount of joy)/cost" thing which doesn't convinces me now. – Swizzler Mar 14 '17 at 19:54
  • 1
    Sometimes joy doesn't fit in a formula, man. – ale Mar 15 '17 at 13:07
10

Nathan's answer was a +1 from me. The answer is not always simple. Having the money available is surely the first step. Using Pete's process aligns with this.

Another thought is depending where you are in your finances, delay by a day for every $100 in cost. e.g. For a $1000 purchase, sleep on it for 10 days. Adjust the number for your circumstance.

  • 3
    And I'll be able to buy my new house in 7 years (I kid +1) – Vality Mar 14 '17 at 20:48
  • Yeah, the fact that I have to plan it in the budget meeting at the beginning of each month puts a wait in for some of the things I want. That's an excellent point and a big part of me losing the desire to buy something. If I still want it in a few weeks, I will probably enjoy it for more than a few weeks. – NL - Apologize to Monica Mar 15 '17 at 2:56
2

Make a deal with yourself. You can buy the things that you want, but only after you've read three books on behavioral economics. You should probably start first with Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational, which will help you understand why the discount makes you covet the products even more than you would without it. Then find and read two more high-quality books from the same genre.

If you gain self-awareness from this, you will begin to understand why you are conflicted (hint: you really don't want the things you think you do). And you probably won't purchase anything in spite of the fact that you kept the first part of the bargain.

0

Long ago, a friend of mine shared with me the "Lakshmi rule" which can be used for managing one's spending:

1/3rd: Save, 1/3rd: Donate, 1/3rd: Survival.

Survival refers to primary needs like food, clothing, shelter, medicine, family and priority needs like travel.

The word "Lakshmi" comes from the Sanskrit language and is often used to denote money, wealth or opulence. Its etymological meaning is - to perceive, understand, objective, observe, to know etc.

As per ancient thought leaders, wealth is to be used wisely and with great care. Carelessness and misuse of it means havoc not only in one's own life but also on a community level. Rather than seeing money as a source of one's own happiness, it should be used as tool for the larger good. This will give proper fulfillment in life and helps one shy away from spending on those little things which only give temporary happiness. Having a deeper perspective to our everyday actions and situations, can help develop beneficial habits that easily helps control one's impulsive urges and distractions.

  • while this doesn't really goes in deept of my question I would like to mention that you got a +1 from me, even tho I couldn't live with this rule. If we all could, this world would be a better place. – Swizzler Mar 15 '17 at 19:48
  • Thank you so much for your kindness Swizzler :) I have been trying my best to follow this rule. It's not easy but it has helped me curtail my frivolous spending over time. Wishing you the best too and thank you for asking this question. – mVentures Mar 15 '17 at 21:39
2

There are a lot of good answers above, all of them will probably work for you in some way or another. One point to note (from the procrastination theme) is that you could invest your free money that you have currently in some investment instrument which would require you to do some paperwork etc. to get out, this way the immediate cash flow is decreased and also invested. Now from each montly budget save a small amount for the things that you would like to buy. Give this small savings some months to accumulate so that you can afford only one of the items that you want to buy or target an item that you want to buy. After the money is accumulated, if you still want to buy the item, then you probably should.

One point of note is that budgeting is also important on a monthly basis, Pete has provided excellent suggestion in this regard.

1

My approach won't work for everyone, but I keep a longer list of things I want in my head, preferably including higher value items. I then look at the cost of an item vs the amount of benefit it gets me (either enjoyment or ability to make more money or both). If I only had a few things I wanted, it would be easy to buy them even if the payback wasn't that great, but because I have a large list of things I'd like to be able to do, it's easier to play the comparison game in my head.

Do I want this $50 thing now that will only give me a little bit of enjoyment and no income, or would I rather be able to get that $3000 digital cinema camera that I would enjoy having and could work on projects with and actually make money off of? (This is a RL example that I actually just bought last week after making sure I had solid leads on enough projects to pay myself back over time.) For me, it is much easier to compare with an alternative thing I'd enjoy, particularly since I enjoy hobbies that can pay for themselves, which is really the situation this strategy works best in.

It might not work for everyone, but hobbies that pay for themselves can take many different forms. Mine tends to be very direct (get A/V tool, do projects that pay money), but it can also be indirect (get sports stuff, save on gym membership over time). If you can get things onto your list that can save you money in the long run, then this strategy can work pretty well, if not, you'll still have the overall saving problem, just with a longer wish list.

That said, if you are good about saving already and simply want to make better use of your disposable income, then having a longer list may also work to let you seek out better deals for you. If you have funds that you know you can healthily spend on enjoyment, it is going to be difficult to choose nothing over something that gives enjoyment, even if it isn't a great return on the money. If you have alternatives that would give you better value, then it's easier to avoid the low value option.

2

Remember where they said "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That is the essence of this problem. You have freedom including freedom to mess up.

On the practical side, it's a matter of structuring your money so it's not available to you for impulse buying, and make it automatic.

Have you fully funded your key necessities? You should have an 8-month emergency fund in reserve, in a different savings account. Are you fully maxing out your 401K, 403B, Roth IRA and the like? This single act is so powerful that you're crazy not to - every $1 you save will multiply to $10-100 in retirement. I know a guy who tours the country in an RV with pop-outs and tows a Jeep. He was career Air Force, so clearly not a millionaire; he saved. Money seems so trite to the young, but Seriously. THIS.

Have auto-deposits into savings or an investment account. Carry a credit card you are reluctant to use for impulse buys. Make your weekly ATM withdrawal for a fixed amount of cash, and spend only that. When your $100 has to make it through Friday, you think twice about that impulse buy.

What about online purchases? Those are a nightmare to manage. If you spend $40 online, reduce your ATM cash withdrawal by $40 the next week, is the best I can think of.

Keep in mind, many of these systems are designed to be hard to resist. That's what 1-click ordering is about; they want you to not think about the bill. That's what the "discount codes" are about; those are a fake artifice. Actually they have marked up the regular price so they are only "discounting" to the fair price. You gotta see the scam, unsubscribe and/or tune out. They are preying on you. Get angry about that!

Very good people to follow regularly are Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, depending on your tastes.

As for the ontological... freedom is a hard problem. Once food and shelter needs are met, then what? How does a free person deny his own freedom to structure his activities for a loftier goal? Sadly, most people pitching solutions are scammers - churches, gurus, etc. - after your money or your mind. So anyone who is making an effort to get seen by you and promise to help you is probably not a good guy.

Though, Napoleon Hill managed to pry some remarkable knowledge from Andrew Carnegie in his book "Think and Grow Rich". Tony Robbins is brilliant, but he lets his staff sell expensive seminars and kit, which make him look like just another shyster. Don't buy that stuff, you don't need it and he doesn't need you to buy it.

  • "Are you fully maxing out your 401K, 403B, Roth IRA and the like?" Yes, this is usually good financial advice, but don't lose sight of one unalterable fact: There are no pockets in shrouds. Dying rich is only a useful option if you care enough that somebody else will benefit from it! – alephzero Mar 18 '17 at 4:20
  • "Remember where they said 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?' That is the essence of this problem. You have freedom including freedom to mess up." "They" were American. OP is Swiss. Not that Swiss folks aren't free. Still, best not to go around assuming everybody you talk to happens to come from your country. – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 18 '17 at 20:38
  • @BoundaryImposition They weren't American... yet. It was their last act as subjects of the Crown. The work was very much addressed to the world and had some effect. The Swiss watched with interest and amusement, I'm sure. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 18 '17 at 21:55
  • Regardless, with the chatter about dollars and questions like "Are you fully maxing out your 401K, 403B, Roth IRA and the like?" I think it's clear you treated the OP like a USAian ;) – Lightness Races with Monica Mar 18 '17 at 23:15
  • "I know a guy who tours the country in an RV with pop-outs and tows a Jeep." Despite envying this guy's idea of fun, I can't see what part of that says, "rich." I could imagine someone doing the same on fixed income; the RV would be in markedly different condition, of course. – jpaugh Apr 24 at 20:59
2

To me, your question emphasizes something I've heard many times before: personal finance is as much or more about behavior than it is about mathematics or "head knowledge". Sure, you know you shouldn't be wasting a lot of money on something you will use very infrequently, but how do you make this behavior stick? Here are a few tricks that might help:

  • The envelope system: The basics of an envelope system is that you can set up all your regular bills to be automatic, and then allocate cash for your discretionary expense categories (food, entertainment, etc.). Let's say you allocate $50 for "entertainment" for a month, and go to the movies a couple times, but at the end of the month you feel guilty, and realize it's kind of a waste to spend that much money and have nothing to show for it, so next month you allocate only $25 in that category. When that category envelope is empty, you are done for the month. It's self-enforced limit on spending.
  • Stop using debt: when you use credit cards (or debt) for purchases, you don't immediately "feel" the consequences of the purchase, because you're just making small payments for it. Research shows we spend more when we use credit than when we use cash, because it activates the pain centers in our brains more quickly. Could you imagine withdrawing $50,000 cash from your bank account to pay for a brand new SUV? Even imagining it makes me cringe! But people will happily pay a mere $400 a month for 7 years for that same vehicle.
  • Cut up or "freeze" your cards: Nothing can change your behavior faster than not having access! Freeze your credit/debit cards in a block of ice, or even cut up credit cards completely. (Caveat: I've heard of doing this with the old mag-stripe cards, but I found at least one success story using the new chip cards).
  • Having a budget (as others have said) goes along with using the envelope system. But also make sure you go back and review and tweak your budget on a monthly basis. This gives you a chance to self-analyze and adjust your discipline. "Dang! I spent $50 on DVDs and movie downloads last month!? Time to adjust that category!"
  • If you search for "living debt free" or "envelope system" on the internet, you'll find more resources that go deeper into these concepts.

The other aspects of your question really touch more on psychology than finance. But getting yourself into a discipline habit with money will help. And realizing the full cash price of items in relation to how much your disposable income is will help you get control of your impulses, as you review your budget monthly, and keep limit yourself using the envelope system. But honestly, everybody wants stuff they don't have, it's human nature. The key is finding ways to put physical limits and guards on yourself to keep you from obeying the self-destructive impulses.

2

Write down the consequences - then make a decision.

I believe that your dilemma comes from not having clearly defined consequences of buying it. On one side you want it and you can afford it, but on the other side there is nothing solid. Just some vague dislike of spending money and guilt of buying something "useless". You're basically guilt tripping yourself into not buying it, and guilt tripping is always bad.

What you need is clear-cut consequence. Something like "I can buy X but then I won't get Y and Z". And for that you need a clearly laid out budget, just to know how much you can spend. Money that go into things that are absolutely required, money that go into various saving plans, etc - and after that you're left with some clear amount that should be spent on making yourself happier.

Making yourself happier is not something you should feel guilty about, it's actually one of purposes of life. Making yourself happy is only bad if it's hurting other areas of your life (and even that is relative, because there is always some extent of degradation you're willing to accept or you have already accepted). There is absolutely no point in saving every single penny you can, because that will make you live long and unhappy life and die without enjoying your riches.

0

One approach is to control your budget more effectively. For example work out your essential living expenses things like food, rent and other bills you are committed to and compare this to your regular income.

Then you can set up a regular automatic payment to a savings account so you limit the disposable income in your current account. If you keep a regular check on this balance it should make you feel like you have less 'spare' money and so less temptation to spend on impulse purchases.

Similarly it may help to set a savings goal for something you really do want, even if this is itself a bit frivolous it will at least help you to discipline yourself.

Equally it may be useful to set a fixed budget for luxuries, then you have a sense that when it's gone it's gone but you don't have to completely deny yourself.

1

There's a reason that you get a discount code: to make you feel like you're getting a deal.

You're not getting a deal.

A deal is what you get when there was something that you were already going to buy, and you got it for a lower price than you were going to originally spend on it.

If you learn to look at "rewards" as a marketing ploy that is designed only to get your business, then it's easier to ignore them.

But if you really do want a thing, and is is a thing that you are going to use, then by all means, go for it! Buy it, and use those rewards and enjoy them.

Otherwise you're just giving your money to someone else for no good reason. And if you want to do that, you should just give it to me.

At least I'm honest about it :)

  • 1
    There's a saying, when a woman wants something, she'll pay any price, when a man sees a 'good' price, he'll buy anything. We both need to change. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 20 '17 at 20:47

protected by JTP - Apologise to Monica Mar 15 '17 at 14:25

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